Destination Dunfermline

As Scotland’s ancient capital, Dunfermline is a city steeped in history. Our Abbey is the final resting place of more Scottish royalty than anywhere outside Iona. Robert the Bruce lies beneath the pulpit, one of an array of colourful figures tied to our city, such as King Malcolm Canmore, Saint Margaret, William Wallace and Andrew Carnegie.

An excellent new website has launched that does justice to our rich heritage. Royal Dunfermline celebrates the people who shaped our city and explores our famous architectural inheritance, from well-known places such as the Abbey, Palace and Abbot House, to others lost in the mists of time.

Such promotion is welcome. I have often lamented that, even among Scots, Dunfermline can be something of a ‘hidden treasure’, despite a history and architectural heritage that suggests our city should be a thriving tourist destination.

Various steps are being taken to raise Dunfermline’s profile. Our annual Bruce Festival attracts thousands of visitors each August and brings a substantial boost to the local economy. I have also suggested to Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, in the Parliament Chamber that Dunfermline is an ideal candidate to play a major role in Homecoming 2014, a year-long celebration of Scottish history and identity that encourages tourism.

Another boost will come our way if the bid to secure World Heritage Site status for the Forth Rail Bridge proves successful. This accolade would confer the Bridge—an icon of Scotland and of pioneering Scottish ingenuity—with the prestige of world sites such as the Statue of Liberty and Ayers Rock. A happy consequence would be more tourism for the Kingdom of Fife and for historic Dunfermline.

 The above was originally written for Bill’s Dunfermline Press column. This version may vary slightly.

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